Colours of the landscape

b”h

Our realities are made by our own hands.

Every day this is being proved to me in an incredibly powerful way.

I try to hold on. Focus my eyes on an object. Try not to think at all. But just as Rousseau commented, “The man does not love to think. Once started, he can’t stop though”:  I literally feel my thoughts wander nonstop through my body . It’s usual, it’s not something new. What startles me is when I realise it’s not the sort of thoughts which bound me to the present moment. It’s solely internal. I reflect on things said and done, on what they cause, on what I’ve seen today and what I am planning to see; whether it is raining outside and when it will begin to rain; where’s my mum, what is she doing?, and finally, when did I see this place the last time before now.

You see – not a single thought of what I’m doing now. I’ve focused my eyes on something, but I don’t even care. If you could scan my mind from outside, you wouldn’t be able to fix it at a certain point. It wanders from past to future. From empirical impressions to subjective and fictional expectations.

Where is the real world here?…

I leave it be.


When trying to catch my concentration and to force it to stand still instead of wandering around, I experience a feeling of growing emptiness as I don’t know what to think of the present moment. How to relate to the fact that I stand here and look at  a wall or a chair. There can’t a full second be felt in which my mind isn’t trying to develop the idea of presence. No pause from reflection and digestion can be taken on its own.

So I leave it be. G-d is grand…

Reality is man-made. By me  and for my own, even if I come to an agreement with my environment on certain abstract and physical matters so that we can have a sort of a common basis. It sounds to general, but here an example: my mood.

I sit on a chair in the library, just woken up after having fallen asleep a while ago. My window view are tops of roofs, a grey sky and black trees standing still next to the houses. I feel weakly, turn some music on and put my earphones into my ears. Immediately, I’m droven away by the rhythm, the melody and the singer’s voice. I’m no longer perceiving the outside in its silent, neutral way. The song is melancholic and slow, lifts me high spiritually but still leaves space for traces of sadness. So I watch houses and think of those I’ve been in throughout my life; of how I want to change my everyday; of how difficult it is going to be for me to get up from this chair and continue spending my day in hurry and stress instead of watching and learning life silently.

Yet I know and I, in my momentual, intentional despair, hope for the next song to follow so that I can gain strength and optimism and get up from the chair and trust in myself that life will go on. I’m torn between proceeding to the next song or to remain with the quiet and sad one to enjoy my dreams.

Nothing in the world indicates though, that houses may be a reason for melancholy and the grey sky for stress. It’s still the same view from the window.

… And minutes later I’m on my way, hurrying down the roads, planning the next steps on my daily agenda. Forgotten the houses, the trees and the sadness.

So I leave it open, leave it be. There are many waves in the sea.

Too often during the day it’s being offered to us  to detract ourselves from reality. Be those technical devices, books, films, music. At this point here I don’t care whether it’s for the good or for the bad. It’s a noteworthy fact, though: While detracting from the collective world, I automatically begin filling my own one.

– And that’s what I eventually exist for, isn’t it? The Talmud had known this long before me as its Sages stated that “One who saves a human being, saves a whole world”.

I live by the saying that in order to enjoy this world to the fullest, I have to have the desire to understand how it works. The absence of an omnipresent realty is a breathtaking observation I’ve been doing now for a couple of days. It shows me, on the one hand, how short-lived words and images are; it’s the deeds which contribute to our collective world which should have more importance and value.

And still, if we remind ourselves of the magic statement of Antoine de Saint-Éxupery, “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye” and even take in account scientific remarks on physics, the answer would be all the same:

It’s solely your mind which adds or takes away the colours of a landscape.

Isralike

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From Eilat with Thoughts (Israel 1)

b”h

Life is a complex thing.

A multisided building. A restless being.

Waves of joy, fear and melancholy fill and empty my brain in a rush, everything changes itself one after another. And I do not only refer here to my emotions overfloating me too often. It’s also the busses, roads and cities I pass by while traveling from one destination to another, be it my cousin, my grandmother, a musical, a graveside and in between some persons who really would like to meet me but only have time for me for about half an hour.

It’s my personal trip, my independent one, now, having a status which allows me to take my own responsability on  my own shoulders. And I realise that I don’t always like it so much. As often as it works out, I try to let someone else participate in my journeys. To help me, to advice me (I lately really rely on other people’s tips), to talk with me at least during my bus trips from North to South, from East to West and in near future even out of the country. The more I realise myself, the more I recognize and include the world around me in my life. Some might call me a “nudnik”, in Hebrew for someone not giving rest to others. Actually, I am not like that. It’s simply that I think too much, I do think a lot lately especially when I’m silent during my trips. And with the thoughts, doubts, fears scramble into my mind with all their weirdness and then I have to talk to someone. Reach someone. To help me decide this and that and still make me look a grown-up and serious.

Know what? I am in my country currently and within a couple of days – even 1 1/2 weeks can be very short – I planned so much, and have seen so many cities all around me and people and bus drivers and phone calls and messages… And thoughts, oh my G-d. I wish sometimes all the thoughts would be worth something in a moment, for example have some monetary value so that I could allow myself an additional falafel at the afternoon. But no. They’re just there and I reflect and reflect the life around me and then these reflections either remain on paper (as I have a small notebook with me) or sink donw into the abyss of forgotten memory.

And I try to look strong and it works for a while.

This morning, after a night of traveling in the Haifa region (North) coming from a very important musial (perhaps I’ll tell of it later), I joined the bus to Eilat in the South of the country. 3 hours of sleep and during the ride to the Central station I was curious yet very “closed-in” of too less sleep, looking around me. I don’t know Haifa much. A strange city, so different from the ones I know in the centre. An Arab city more or less, lying on many mountains or high hills, let’s say, spread all over the area and with houses reminding me of residences of some mountain princes, observing the area. One could really be afraid if looking downhill from such a house. This all creates a special atmosphere, as well as this town isn’t “typically Jewish” at all, not even keeping some trace of religiousity. This makes it difficult to identify with  it, at least for me.

So then I left for Eilat and the road leads through 2 deserts and of course the central area. The most time I slept, I think. Or was simply resting. A very relaxing trip, 7 hours of simply bus, bus, bus. Mile after mile and the bus is nearly empty, the driver very fast and there was space where to sleep.

Well and then, after a time of apathy, then some phone calls, some hope feeling, some moments of happiness and strength and with heart-beating I arrived at Eilat and now I am here,  have already changed my money into the right currency (lately I deal with 3!), eaten, registered for tomorrow, pleaded at a hostel in front of a hostel boss for a place to have a bath… (Although I didn’t plan to “plead”, it really looked this way. A strange way to argue over price while barely saying much and having tears in my eyes. I hope he didn’t see this, the boss who went down with the price almost twice and finally I got a gratis bath offer. A moment of weakness…)

Life is complex and too many things happen to exist in parallel. While I was sitting in the bus, my cousin slept, not knowing where I am; a friend of mine flew to Germany, speaking with me minutes before on phone; my roummate came back from work, asking where I am – and more of this.

Now it’s evening. Many projects and events await me. Some I am afraid of, some I await for. Some simply have to happen, some are changeable. Perhaps.

I do thing because I think they are important, and in the first place for me

to quote a very special person. It’s a simple truth, but each truth is worth more than gold and any earthy goods.

The main thing, though an exhausting one, is always –

– to try to realise as much as possible

– to be ready to meet things in life

– to reflect upon what you experience.

It is real reflection and it helps you develop your life.

From Eilat with Thoughts,

all the best

IsrAlike